Enter the Edible Book Festival by Friday, April 10th!
Librarians are encouraging fellow Madisonians to join them in savoring books—edible books, that is. Staff members at the UW-Madison Memorial Library are busy with preparations for their sixth annual Edible Book Festival, a celebration of the convergence of books and food. Edible books are sculptures made out of food and edible materials that are inspired by—or in some cases recreate—beloved literary characters, scenes, or physical books themselves. An international phenomenon, this literary/gastronomical event is free and open to anyone in the Madison area, and the librarians assure us: you don’t need to be a food artist to create an edible book! While some past submissions have been elaborate book sculptures made from carved vegetables or fondant, the festival sees just as many simple entries. For example, a bunch of grapes with angry faces drawn on them (The Grapes of Wrath), or a cake platter with a single crumb on it (The Book Thief), or a plate full of Tofurky ‘sausage’ (A Day No Pigs Would Die). Group entries are always welcome: businesses, food clubs, book clubs, student organizations, children’s groups—all are encouraged to participate. And whether you submit an edible book or not, everyone is welcome to attend the event and view these beautiful, clever creations.
Coinciding with National Library Week, this year’s event will take place on Monday, April 13th from 11a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in room 116 of Memorial Library. In addition to the culinary appeal, celebrity guest judges will award prizes in a variety of categories, including “Most Creative Use of Ingredients” and “Funniest/Punniest.” Maya Warren, a UW-Madison PhD student in food science and winner of the Emmy-awarded CBS reality show The Amazing Race (along with fellow racer and PhD student Amy DeJong), will not only bestow prizes donated from local food-related businesses, but will also participate in a live Q&A during a cake reception from 4 to 5 p.m. Joining Maya in her judicial role will be local food celebrities Nichole Fromm and JonMichael Rasmus of the blog Eating in Madison A to Z. Everyone who attends the event will have the opportunity to cast their ballot for the People’s Choice award.
Want to enter, but need a little inspiration? Photos of past submissions, a Pinterest board of ideas, and a list of FAQs are all available on the event website. The festival organizers request that those submitting edible books register on the website by Friday, April 10th at noon, though no registration is necessary to attend the event. So pull out your favorite books, dust off your cake tins, and get ready to experience a library of books like you’ve never tasted!